The Official Blog of the Youth Transition Funders Group

Hosted by Chris Sturgis, Strategic Advisor to YTFG

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Official: Disproportionate Discipline of Black Students

The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights will release this week the first large-scale study of patterns of school discipline.  And it shows what we already know.  According to the New York Times the findings include:
Although black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all expulsions, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection’s 2009-10 statistics from 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts, serving about 85 percent of the nation’s students. The data covered students from kindergarten age through high school.

It looks like our country won't be able to ignore pushing students out of school anymore. The Times reported that in a briefing yesterday with reporters Secretary Duncan said," The undeniable truth is that the everyday education experience for too many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise.” This is an enormous change in federal leadership.  Remember, in 2008 the U.S. Department of Education stopped collecting this data altogether.

According to the Times, this research (and more) will be released after Secretary Duncan speaks today at Howard University. So check out for more information later on this week. 

Local communities across our nation have produced similar reports across the country, each one showing the same pattern.  Now we don't have to spend scarce resources on research and conferences. Now is the time to invest in organizing and solutions. 

And you can today something today -- send an email about this research to your state educational leadership (Commissioner of Education, chairs of education commissioners in the state legislature), mayors, schools boards, and superintendents -- and tell them to keep our kids in school.

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